Current Awareness in Aging Research (CAAR) Report #327--March 2, 2006


CAAR (Current Awareness in Aging Research) is a weekly email report produced by the Center for Demography of Health and Aging at the University of Wisconsin-Madison that helps researchers keep up to date with the latest developments in the field. For more information, including an archive of back issues and subscription information see:


I. Data:

1. INTER-UNIVERSITY CONSORTIUM FOR POLITICAL AND SOCIAL RESEARCH: ICPSR at the University of Michigan released several new datasets on Feb. 23, 2006 which may be of interest to researchers in aging. Note: Some ICPSR studies are available only to ICPSR member institutions. To find out whether your organization is a member, and whether or not it supports ICPSR Direct downloading, see:

New data:

All new and updated data in the last 90 days can be found at:

Click on "list".

2. PANEL STUDY OF INCOME DYNAMICS DATA UPDATES: The University of Michigan, Institute for Social Research PSID has announced the following updates.

A. "1997 Demographic File - including weights" (Mar. 1, 2006).

B. "2002 Demographic File - including weights" (Mar. 1, 2006).

Data access:


II. Reports and articles:


A. "Medicare Demonstration To Study Rehabilitation For People With Vision Impairment" (Feb. 22, 2006).

B. "NCA Tracking Sheet and Final Decision Memorandum for Nesiritide for Treatment of Heart Failure Patients (CAG-00289N, Mar. 2, 2006).

Final decision memorandum is at the bottom of the page.

4. US NATIONAL INSTITUTE ON AGING REPORT: "So Far Away: 20 Questions for Long-Distance Caregivers" (February 2006, .pdf format, 44p.).

Click on "PDF" for link to full text.

5. US GOVERNMENT ACCOUNTABILITY OFFICE REPORT: "Medicare Durable Medical Equipment: Class III Devices Do Not Warrant a Distinct Annual Payment Update" (GAO-06-316, March 2006, .pdf format, 61p.). Links to an abstract and full text are available at:

Note: This is a temporary address. GAO reports are always available at:

6. SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION, OFFICE OF POLICY REPORT: "International Update," (February 2006, .pdf and HTML format, 4p.).


A. "A Review of Nursing Facility Resource Utilization Groups"
(OEI-02-02-00830, February 2006, .pdf format, 29p.).


This report describes the extent to which Resource Utilization Groups (RUGs) on claims submitted by nursing facilities are different from those generated based on evidence in the rest of the medical record. Medicare pays for Part A skilled nursing facility stays using a prospective payment system that classifies residents into RUGs that each represent a different Medicare payment rate. Skilled nursing facilities determine a resident's RUG based on an assessment of the resident. This report was based on an independent review of the medical records for 272 skilled nursing facility claims. When reviewers found that a particular resident assessment item was inconsistent with the rest of the medical record, they recoded that item based on the entire medical record and used this recoded item to generate a new RUG. We found that 26 percent of claims submitted by skilled nursing facilities had a RUG that was different from the one reviewers generated based on evidence in the rest of the medical record. These differences represented a net 542 million dollars in potential Medicare overpayments for fiscal year 2002. Resident assessment items that require looking back over a period, assessment by two or more staff, or calculations contributed to these differences in RUGs and were most often inconsistent with the rest of the medical record. We recommend that CMS take steps to ensure that skilled nursing facilities complete the MDS accurately and assign each resident to the correct RUG. These steps could include (1) continuing the type of analysis conducted by the Data Assessment and Verification project and (2) more carefully examining the 11 MDS items that we found were most often inconsistent with the rest of the medical record. CMS concurred with our recommendation.

B. "Calculation of Volume-Weighted Average Sales Price for Medicare Part B Prescription Drugs" (OEI-03-05-00310, February 2006, .pdf format, 27p.).


In 2005, Medicare began paying for most Part B drugs using a new methodology based on average sales prices (ASP). Section 1847A(b)(2)(B) of the Social Security Act (the Act) specifies the unit that manufacturers must use when submitting ASP data. The Act also specifies the way to calculate a volume-weighted ASP for a Medicare payment code based on manufacturer-reported ASP data. However, CMS opted to change the unit of ASP submission, exercising discretion permitted by section 1847A(b)(2)(B) of the Act. It was therefore necessary for CMS to modify the method for calculating volume-weighted ASP described in the law. OIG found that the method CMS currently uses to calculate a volume-weighted ASP is mathematically incorrect. Therefore, CMS's equation may not always yield a volume-weighted ASP that is consistent with the volume-weighted ASP derived from the calculation set forth in section 1847A(b)(3) of the Act. Because CMS calculates volume-weighted ASPs incorrectly, current and future reimbursement amounts may not be accurate. OIG recommended that CMS change its calculation of volume-weighted ASP. OIG suggested that CMS adopt an alternate equation proposed by OIG, which produces a volume-weighted ASP that is both mathematically correct and consistent with the results of the calculation set forth in section 1847A(b)(3) of the Act. CMS indicated that the report's findings are helpful to its ongoing refinement of the ASP payment methodology. As CMS gains more experience with the ASP data, and as more information becomes available, CMS may consider altering the ASP methodology

8. US BUREAU OF LABOR STATISTICS PERIODICAL ARTICLE: "Another Retirement Savings Option: Roth 401(k) Plan," by John E. Buckley (_Compensation and and Working Conditions Online_, February 2006).

9. US DEPARTMENT OF LABOR WOMEN'S BUREAU QUICK FACTS ON OLDER WORKER'S AGES: "Older Women Workers, ages 55 and over" (Mar. 2, 2006).

10. CALIFORNIA CAREGIVER RESOURCE CENTERS ONLINE NEWSLETTER: _California Caregiver_. "_California Caregiver_ is designed to meet your information needs and features practical advice, resources, news coverage, caregiving tips, and policy updates for people caring for loved ones with Alzheimer's disease, stroke, Parkinson's, ALS, and other health conditions. _California Caregiver_ will be published two times monthly (electronic publication only) and will be sent in either HTML or text-only format to those who subscribe." For a sample copy and subscription information see:

More information on CCRC:

11. NORTH DAKOTA STATE DATA CENTER REPORT: "Impact of Seniors on North Dakota's Economy," by Richard Rathge (February 2006, Microsoft PowerPoint format, 41 slides).


A. "A National Action Plan for Osteoarthritis, Rheumatoid Arthritis and Osteoporosis" (2005, .pdf format, 18p.).

B. "Australian incontinence data analysis and development" (March 2006, .pdf format, 119p.).

C. "Aged care advisory committee meeting on abuse claims" (SS016/06, Feb. 26, 2006, HTML and .pdf format, 3p.).

13. KAISER FAMILY FOUNDATION REPORT: "The Transition of Dual Eligibles to Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Coverage: State Actions During Implementation," by Vernon Smith, Kathleen Gifford, Sandy Kramer, and Linda Elam (Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured, February 2006, .pdf format, 20p.).

Click on "Report" at the bottom of the page for link to full text.


A. "The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act Privacy Rule and Patient Access to Medical Records," by Beth Tossell, Emily Stewart, and Janlori Goldman (February 2006, .pdf format, 31p.).

B. "Trends in Manufacturer Prices of Prescription Drugs Used by Older Americans," by David Gross, Stephen W. Schondelmeyer, and Susan Raetzman (Third Quarter 2005 update, February 2006, .pdf format, 14p.).

Link to full text and other quarterly reports is near the bottom of the page.

C. "The Effects of Investing the Social Security Trust Funds in GNMA (Government National Mortgage Association) Mortgage-Backed Securities," by Thomas Hungerford (February 2006, .pdf format, 35p.).

D. "Pulling Together: Administrative and Budget Consolidation of State Long-Term Care Services," by Wendy Fox-Grage, Barbara Coleman, and Dann Milne (February 2006, .pdf format, 27p.).

E. "Images of Aging in America 2004," by Alexis Abramson and Merril Silverstein (March 2006, .pdf format, 198p.).

F. The following AARP _Prime Time Radio_ show is now available (RealPlayer plug-in or helper application required, audio transcripts run between 24 and 30 minutes).

The Legacy of the Baby Boom Generation:

15. URBAN INSTITUTE REPORT: "A Profile of Frail Older Americans and Their Caregivers," by Richard W. Johnson and Joshua M. Wiener (March 2006, .pdf format, 68p.).

16. EMPLOYEE BENEFIT RESEARCH INSTITUTE PERIODICAL: _EBRI Notes_ (Vol. 27, No. 3, March 2006, .pdf format, 12p.).

17. CENTER FOR ECONOMIC AND POLICY RESEARCH REPORT: "The Excess Cost of the Medicare Drug Benefit: Republican's prescription drug program costs 800 billion dollars more than a direct Medicare benefit with negotiated prices," by Dean Baker (February 2006, .pdf format, 4p.).

More information about CEPR:


A. "Ligand-specific allosteric regulation of coactivator functions of androgen receptor in prostate cancer cells," by Sung Hee Baek, Kenneth A. Ohgi, Charles A. Nelson, Derek Welsbie, Charlie Chen, Charles L. Sawyers, David W. Rose, and Michael G. Rosenfeld (Vol. 103, No. 9, Feb. 28, 2006, p.3100-3105).

B. "Amyloid-beta peptide binds with heme to form a peroxidase: Relationship to the cytopathologies of Alzheimer's disease," by Hani Atamna and Kathleen Boyle (Vol. 103, No. 9, Feb. 28, 2006, HTML and .pdf format, p.3381-3386). Note: this article is freely available to the public.

C. "AMPA receptor downscaling at the onset of Alzheimer's disease pathology in double knockin mice," by Eric H. Chang, Mary J. Savage, Dorothy G. Flood, Justin M. Thomas, Robert B. Levy, Veeravan Mahadomrongkul, Tomoaki Shirao, Chiye Aoki, and Patricio T. Huerta (Vol. 103, No. 9, Feb. 28, 2006, p. 3410-3415).

19. _SCIENCE_ ARTICLE ABSTRACT: "Cellular Senescence in Aging Primates," by Utz Herbig, Mark Ferreira, Laura Condel, Dee Carey, and John M. Sedivy (Brevia, Vol. 311, No. 5765, Mar. 3, 2006, p. 1257).


A. "Radiation Dose-Response Relationships for Thyroid Nodules and Autoimmune Thyroid Diseases in Hiroshima and Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Survivors 55-58 Years After Radiation Exposure," by Misa Imaizumi, Toshiro Usa, Tan Tominaga, Kazuo Neriishi, Masazumi Akahoshi, Eiji Nakashima, Kiyoto Ashizawa, Ayumi Hida, Midori Soda, Saeko Fujiwara, Michiko Yamada, Eri Ejima, Naokata Yokoyama, Masamichi Okubo, Keizo Sugino, Gen Suzuki, Renju Maeda, Shigenobu Nagataki, and Katsumi Eguchi (Vol. 295, No. 9, Mar. 1, 2006, p. 1011-1022).

B. "Thyroid Status, Cardiovascular Risk, and Mortality in Older Adults," by Anne R. Cappola, Linda P. Fried, Alice M. Arnold, Mark D. Danese, Lewis H. Kuller, Gregory L. Burke, Russell P. Tracy, and Paul W. Ladenson (Vol. 295, No. 9, Mar. 1, 2006, p. 1033-1041).

C. "Thyroid Disease 60 Years After Hiroshima and 20 Years After Chernobyl," by John D. Boice Jr. (editorial extract, Vol. 295, No. 9, Mar. 1, 2006, p. 1060-1062).


A. "Non-degenerative mild cognitive impairment in elderly people and use of anticholinergic drugs: longitudinal cohort study," by Marie L. Ancelin, Sylvaine Artero, Florence Portet, Anne-Marie Dupuy, Jacques Touchon, and Karen Ritchie (Vol. 332, No. 7539, Feb. 25, 2006, p. 455-459).

B. "Barriers to implementing a policy not to attempt resuscitation in acute medical admissions: prospective, cross sectional study of a successive cohort," by H. Fidler, C. Thompson, A. Freeman, D. Hogan, G. Walker, and J. Weinman (Vol. 332, No. 7539, Feb. 25, 2006, HTML and .pdf format, p. 461-462). Note: this article is freely available to the public.

22. _LANCET EDITORIAL, BOOK REVIEWS: Note: _Lancet_ requires free registration before providing articles.

A. "Institutional elder abuse," (editorial, Vol. 367, No. 9511, Feb. 25, 2006, HTML and .pdf format, p. 624).

B. "Longevity in perspective," reviews of _The Long History of Old Age_, edited by Pat Thane, and _The Long Tomorrow: How Advances in Evolutionary Biology Can Help Us Postpone Aging_, by Michael R. Rose, reviewed by Tom Kirkwood (Vol. 367, No. 9511, Feb. 25, 2006, HTML and .pdf format, p. 641-642).

23. _NEWSWEEK_ ARTICLE: "Jobs: Fill the Prescription," by Robert Stein (Periscope, Mar. 6, 2006).

24. _US NEWS AND WORLD REPORT_ ARTICLE: "Defining the Future: The story behind the landmark women's health study that is creating exciting breakthroughs," by Caroline Hsu (Mar. 6, 2006).

III. Working Papers:

25. UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN POPULATION STUDIES CENTER: "Studying Consumption with the Panel Study of Income Dynamics: Comparisons with the Consumer Expenditure Survey and an Application to the Intergenerational Transmission of Well-being," by Kerwin Charles, Sheldon H. Danziger, Geng Li, and Robert F. Schoeni (PSC Research Report No. 06-590, February 2006, .pdf format, 25p.). Links to an abstract and full text are available at:

Click on PDF icon for link to full text.

26. MAX PLANCK INSTITUTE FOR DEMOGRAPHIC RESEARCH [ROSTOCK, GERMANY]: "On the structural value of children and its implication on intended fertility in Bulgaria," by Christoph Buhler (WP-2006-03, February 2006, .pdf format, 41p.). Links to an abstract and full text are available at:


Personal networks receive increasing recognition as structural determinants of fertility. However, the network perspective also helps to explain personal motivations for having children. Using theories of interpersonal exchange and of the value of children, it is argued that children can substantively alter and improve their parents' social networks. Individuals perceive this potential advantageous development as a structural benefit and consider this value in their reproductive decisions. Data from Bulgaria, collected in 2002, support this argument. The intentions of females and males to have a first or second child are positively influenced by at least one structural value. Women's intentions are promoted by the prospect that a child will bring their parents and relatives closer or will strengthen the bond with the partner. Male's intentions are closely associated with the expectation that a child will improve their security at old age.

27. INSTITUTE FOR THE STUDY OF LABOR (IZA) [UNIVERSITY OF BONN, GERMANY]: "Early Retirement Behaviour in the Netherlands: Evidence from a Policy Reform," by Rob Euwals, Daniel van Vuuren, and Ronald Wolthoff (Discussion Paper 1992, March 2006, .pdf format, 38p.).


In the early 1990s, the Dutch social partners agreed upon transforming the generous and actuarially unfair PAYG early retirement schemes into less generous and actuarially fair capital funded schemes. The starting dates of the transitional arrangements varied by industry sector. In this study, we exploit the variation in starting dates to estimate the causal impact of the policy reform on early retirement behaviour. We use a large administrative dataset, the Dutch Income Panel 1989-2000, to estimate hazard rate models for early retirement. We conclude that the policy reform induced workers to postpone early retirement. In particular, both the price effect (reducing implicit taxes) and the wealth effect (reducing early retirement wealth) are shown to have a positive impact on the early retirement age. Yet, we show that model specifications including the most commonly used financial incentive measures are open to further improvements, given that these are outperformed by a simple specification with dummy variables


IV. Journal Tables of Contents (check your library for availability):

28. Canadian Journal on Aging/La Revue canadienne du vieillissement (Vol. 24, No. 4, Winter 2005).

29. Journal of Applied Gerontology (Vol. 25, Nos. 1,2, February, April 2006). Note: Full electronic text of these journals is available in the ProQuest Research Library and the EBSCO Host Academic Search Elite Database. Check your library for the availability of this database and these issues.

30. Journal of Health Economics (Vol. 25, No. 2, March 2006).

31. Journals of Gerontology (A) Biological and Medical Sciences (Vol. 61, No. 2, February 2006). Note: Full electronic text of these journals is available in the ProQuest Research Library. Check your library for the availability of this database and these issues.

32. Medical Care (Vol. 44, No. 3, March 2006).

33. INGENTACONNECT: INGENTACONNECT provides fee based document delivery services for selected journals.

A. Point your browser to:

B. click on "advanced search"
C. Type in your publication name and click "Exact title" radio button
D. Under "Show", click the "fax/ariel" radio button.
E. View the table of contents for the issue noted.

Journal of Gerontological Social Work (Vol. 46, No. 2, 2005).

34. AMEDEO MEDICAL LITERATURE: Note: "AMEDEO has been created to serve the needs of healthcare professionals, including physicians, nurses, pharmacists, administrators, other members of the health professions, and patients and their friends. They can easily access timely, relevant information within their respective fields... All AMEDEO services are free of charge. This policy was made possible thanks to generous unrestricted educational grants provided by AMGEN, Berlex, Eisai, Glaxo Wellcome, Novartis, Pfizer, Roche, and Schering AG."

A. Osteoporosis: Literature for the week of Mar. 1, 2006:

B. Alzheimer's Disease: Literature for the week of Mar. 1, 2006:

C. Parkinson's Disease: Literature for the week of Mar. 1, 2006:

D. Prostate Cancer: Literature for the week of Mar. 1, 2006:

E. Stem Cell Research: Literature for the week of Mar. 1, 2006:

F. Ophthalmology: Literature for the week of Mar. 1, 2006:

AMEDEO Literature Guide:


V. Funding Opportunities:


A. "Notice to Extend Deadline to March 3, 2006 to Respond to Request for Information (RFI): Nomination of Knockout Mice for Deposition in Public Repositories" (NOT-DA-06-009, Feb. 24, 2006, National Institute on Aging, in conjunction with several other agencies). For more information see:

B. "Midcareer Investigator Award in Mouse Pathobiology Research (K26)" (PAR-06-159, Feb. 24, 2006, National Institute on Aging in conjunction with National Center for Research Resources). For more information see:


VI. Conferences:

36. AMERICAN GERIATRICS SOCIETY: "2006 Annual Scientific Meeting," to be held May 3-7, 2006 in Chicago, Illinois. For more information see:

37. UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS MEDICAL BRANCH DEPARTMENT OF SURGERY: "Surgery in the Elderly Patient - Galveston III," to be held in Apr. 3, 2006 in Galveston, Texas. For more information see:

38. DUKE UNIVERSITY DELIRIUM RESEARCH GROUP: " Delirium: More Attention, Less Confusion," to be held Apr. 20-21, 2006, in Durham, North Carolina. For more information see:

39. 2006 HARVARD MEDICAL SCHOOL AND PAUL F. GLENN SYMPOSIUM ON AGING: "Biology of Aging Symposium," to be held in Boston, Massachusetts, Jun. 5, 2006). For more information see:


VII. Legislation Information Updates:

40. US SENATE SPECIAL COMMITTEE ON AGING HEARING PUBLICATION: "Exploring the Promise of Embryonic Stem Cell Research," a hearing held Jun. 8, 2005 (Senate Hearing 109-191, ASCII text and .pdf format, 57p.).

Scroll to or "find in page" "109-191" (without the quotes).

41. US HOUSE WAYS AND MEANS COMMITTEE, SUBCOMMITTEE ON HEALTH HEARING TESTIMONY: "Hearing on MedPAC's March Report on Medicare Payment Policies," a hearing held Mar. 1, 2006).


VIII. Websites of Interest:

42. US NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF HEALTH PRIMATE AGING DATABASE: "The National Institute on Aging (NIA) announces a new resource for investigators in the field of aging research, designed to facilitate the use of non-human primates (NHP) in aging research. The NIA Primate Aging Database (PAD) was developed to collect data on normal aging in a wide range of NHP species. Blood chemistry measurements and body weight data have been collected for healthy NHP across the lifespan, from primate colonies across the country. The data is coded and PAD currently has approximately 400,000 data points from 16 different species, although the predominant amount of data is from rhesus macaques. More data will be collected and submission of data is encouraged. The data can be used by the research community to identify changes in biological parameters with age, to validate NHP models for aspects of human aging, and to perform comparative analyses. It will also be a valuable resource for veterinary staff caring for aged NHP, identifying normal ranges for measurements at different ages." For more information, as well as a link to PAD, see:

Jack Solock
Data Librarian--Center for Demography and Ecology and Center for
Demography of Health and Aging
4470 Social Science
University of Wisconsin-Madison
Madison, WI 53706